Excellent addition to any kitchen set for birthday or holiday gift, is the Small World Toys Fun with Fruit and Peel and Play Vegetable Sets. I’ve combined two sets to make a variety of different fruits/vegetables. There are tomatoes, oranges, pineapples, apples, broccoli, and peppers. The pieces are attached by Velcro in the middle and can be pulled apart. If use the plastic knife that comes in the set, it can sound just like you would be slicing or cutting fruit. The Peel and Play vegetables also have Velcro, but they can actually be peeled apart just like a regular banana.
I’ve used these sets with children as young as 12-15 months. Young children are working on increasing their hand strength to pull them apart and put the pieces back together. Older children are working on color recognition skills and hand eye coordination to hold the knife, and line it up, while also needing to demonstrate appropriate strength and coordination to cut the pieces in half. Children over the age of three are using visual organization skills, they cut them apart, and then need to scan the pile to find the match. You may need to assist your child, by pre-sorting the pieces and offering them a smaller choice with contrasting fruits/vegetables to reduce frustration when finding the match. This set is plastic and easy to wash. Other companies do make a wooden variety if that is more to your liking. With storage, these items are dependent on their match, store them in clear plastic container with a lid so they are not scattered and lost all over the playroom. Contact www.smallworldtoys.com for more information.